Tuesday, February 24, 2015

note on parenting{sometimes you forget}

I try really hard to avoid being judgmental about the parenting choices of others. And for the most part, I remain pretty judgement free. The" mommy wars" are stupid and as long as your choices don't hurt my kid we're all good.

However, I've come to realize I may have been a bit dismissive of the parenting problems of those with little ones. Having been through it all, I roll my eyes a little when I hear of sleepless nights, potty training battles and toddler tantrums. I would gladly take a 3 year old melting down in the Target checkout lane over a screaming match in the front yard(as your neighbors try to proceed with their very normal lives) because your 15 year old daughter has been caught trying to sneak out of the house again. In my head waking up every hour to feed your baby safe and sound in his own room is exhausting but better than laying awake terrified that you're going to a call your kid has wrapped the car around a telephone poll the first time you let her take it out unsupervised at night. Parenting takes nerves of steel and you need every bit of them when taking on tw/teens!

This week I've been humbled. February is always the gray and dreary. Why does the shortest month of the year drag itself out for so long?! The temperatures have dropped dangerously low-below zero before you even factor in the wind chill. We've had more snow in the last week than we typically have all winter. And then of course there's the cold/flu/general ick that keeps circulating through the house. As soon as we're all healthy two weeks later someone brings home a new germ and it starts all over again. Good times, I tell ya'. This is all to say that for last week I've trapped in house with a grouchy 11 month old. Late Friday evening we'd created the perfect storm. We had a meetup with some other moms and babies which was great but left him over stimulated. He fell asleep for maybe ten minutes on the way which left him grumpy and any attempt to get him to take his afternoon nap was thwarted by a barking dog or ringing doorbell or noisy sibling. By 5 o'clock he was in full meltdown mode. By half past 5, so was I!  Nothing made him happy! He didn't want me to read to him but when I stopped he screamed. He didn't want to eat his snack but when I took it away, he screamed. He didn't want to play with any of toys but when I put them away, well you get the idea. Doug and I took turns handing him off to one another so try to stay sane. It goes without saying that by 6:45 we were all in our pajamas and most of us were asleep. Those that weren't, were quietly tucked into their crib and soon drifted off.

So here's the thing I forgot while being so smug, when you're in it, it can be really, really hard! Yes, angst-y and disrespectful teens are hard. Particularly when you know that the mistakes they tend to make can really mess up their lives in the long run. But that doesn't mean that dealing with an overstimulated toddler screaming and crying and wanting ALL the things isn't just as hard to navigate. It's just different. What's the old saying-Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting their own hard battle-even if that battle is with a very tired 11 month old!        

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